David the King, in his maturity, could look back on being a shepherd boy, and call His God, “My Shepherd” This is amazing, because in their culture, a shepherd was one of the lowest positions a person could employ! Yet, Jesus the miracle-working prophet, teacher and savior, who proved to us He is the LORD would call Himself our “good shepherd” (John 10). If a family needed a shepherd, it was always the youngest son, like David, who got this lowly assignment….Jehovah God has chosen to be our shepherd, David says. The great God of the universe has stooped to take just such care of you and me, and he proved he could stoop, and yet be exalted to glory by becoming the Lamb of God on a cross, only to be resurrected! Remember, there are no menial tasks as a Christian, only menial attitudes.
Many shepherds in 1st century Israel actually live with their flock and is everything to it: guide, physician and protector. A leading Guide for providing the best food, Jesus is the bread of life. A great Physician for treating wounds that heal from the inside out. The spiritual healer that Christ is, renews the inner person as our outer person grows older. He is also the Protector of our very life, saving our soul, sanctifying our spirit and promising a resurrected body to each and every Christian, 1st Corinthians 15:42-44.
However, sheep are by nature, wanderers, and although they are born into a flock, they are apt to leave it, being exposed to danger. If a person doesn’t recognize our innate faulty character leaving us open to the consequences of our own sin, then we will never be able to say “the Lord is MY shepherd”, on the contrary, it will always be, “the Lord is the good shepherd”. While being true, it lacks the personal conviction that can save the sheep.
Being a lamb under the care of the “Good Shepherd” means two things, A Decision and A Desire. “I shall not want” means, we believe that “All my needs are supplied by the LORD, my shepherd.” AND “I shall not want” means, “I decide to not desire more than what the LORD, my shepherd gives. Lambs are trusting and not greedy, but goats are. Philip Keller in his book, “A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23” writes that sheep do not lie down easily, unless four conditions are met. Because they are timid they will not lie down if they are afraid. Because they are social animals they will not lie down if there is friction among the sheep. If flies or parasites trouble them they will not lie down. Finally, if sheep are anxious about food or hungry they will not lie down. Rest comes only after the shepherd has dealt with fear, friction, flies, and famine. “He makes me lie down in green pastures”!
“He restores my soul” meaning, the rescue of a lost one. Picture the straying sheep brought back, as in Isaiah 49:5 or Psalm 60:1 & Hebrews 6:3. Repentance is something the Shepherd helps us with in granting or permitting us to change, see Romans 2:4 and 2nd Timothy 2:25. We can not repent all by our self.
“To Dwell in The House of the Lord forever”, is to be a child at home with our God; the whole world can be his house to a Christian; and when we ascend into the heavens we will not change our company, we will only go to dwell in the upper storey of the house of the Lord for ever. Because in a sense we are already in His House, that is, Christ, 1st Timothy 3:15.